Notes: Insider Only
Notes: Nelson declared for the NBA draft last year and played at the Chicago pre-draft camp. He played pretty well at the camp and went on to workout for around 18 NBA teams. He couldn't, however, get a first round guarantee so he decided to return to school for his senior season. It turned out to be a great decision.
Upside: Nelson is a big time scorer who uses his strength and speed to relentlessly attack the basket. He has an NBA body, strength and is a proven defender averaging an impressive 3 steals per game. His jump shot has improved this season, especially in the mid range game. He's also proven to scouts that he has what it takes to be a real point guard. He's shown a knack for finding his teammates in traffic and is a creative passer. The fact that several scouts are now comparing him to Tim Hardaway certainly doesn't hurt his cause.
Downside: Size matters in the NBA and unfortunately for Nelson, he comes up just a bit short. If he were three or four inches taller, he'd be a lock for the lottery. Instead scouts worry that he doesn't have the athleticism or lateral quickness to make up for his small stature. The fact that he averages three turnovers per game also doesn't help his cause much. Several teams that had him in for individual workouts last spring claim they weren't overwhelmingly impressed and hadn't seen anything in this year 's workouts that's changed their opinion. Scouts who are less high on Nelson compare him to Damon Stoudamire.
Insider Projection: All of the euphoria from an unbelievable season at St. Joseph's has really helped Nelson's stock. Last season he was a borderline first-rounder. Without changing his game at all, he's now planted himself firmly in the first round. How high can it go? He's been scouted heavily that past two years and folks seem to have a good handle on him. Nelson's draft range is really in the eye of the beholder, but expect him to fall anywhere between 12 and 26 on draft night.